One of the biggest misconceptions about social media is that it’s meant to bring you sales, which truthfully, isn’t exactly the case. Because of the way that social media has grown and been glorified throughout the past few years, social media has been positioned as the “golden ticket” for increasing your revenue, which means that you might have higher expectations than what’s realistic and possible.
We’ve had a lot of conversations with business owners throughout the years who have asked us how much in sales or how many leads we can bring them, to which we say that we can’t give an estimate or guarantee a number at all–and here’s why.
Social Media Builds Credibility, Trust, and Thought Leadership
Do you want people to not only know who you are but also trust you? That’s what social media is for. Think about how many times you’ve come across a product or service that you’re interested in, but you haven’t heard of the company before, so you’re hesitant to spend your money on it right away in case it doesn’t work out. When that happens, you more than likely head to their social media profiles to scroll through their previous content and get a feel for their brand to ensure that it’s one you feel good about. Once you feel like you know the brand and deem it to be trustworthy, then you’re ready to hand over your money. If you saw that the company had a terrible social media presence or no social media presence at all, it would most likely cause you to think twice before buying something.
Social media allows you to exercise your expertise and build a relationship with your audience through the content you share and the community you build.
Social Media Has a Longer Sales Cycle
You won’t believe how many times we’ve jumped on a consultation call with a potential client who has told us, “I’ve been following you on social media for two years now and I’m just reaching out now because I’m finally ready to outsource my marketing.”
That’s right–they’ve known about us for two years (and sometimes even longer) but had never reached out to inquire about hiring us because they were waiting for the right timing. Maybe they needed to make sure they had the budget, maybe they needed to tighten up their systems and processes, or maybe they needed to hire internally before bringing in an external consultant. Whatever it may be, people will reach out to you when they’re ready to work with you, but it’s going to take some time.
That’s why it’s important to know that results will never happen instantly from organic social media, because it often involves spending months, or even years, nurturing your audience and building that relationship with them so that once they are ready to bite the bullet, your company is the first one they reach out to.
Social Media is a Vehicle for Driving Website Traffic
One of the metrics we include in monthly analytics reports for our clients is website traffic that specifically comes from social media.
Social media acts as a vehicle to drive the individuals who are interested in what you offer from your social media profiles to your website, because your website shares who you are, what you do, and how you help. From there, it’s your website–not your social media presence–that converts these individuals from simply being interested in your business to now being paying clients or customers.
If we see that we’re bringing hundreds of website visits to a client’s website each month, we know that social media is doing its job of driving people to the next destination–but now it’s up to the website or landing page to do its job of converting these people. If no conversions are happening from the website or landing page, that’s an indication that there’s an issue with a site, not with your social media.
Social Media Works Best in Accordance with Other Marketing Efforts
It’s easy for business owners to think that just because social media exists and everyone uses it that there’s no need to even think about having a website, building an email list, publishing blog posts, etc.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Marketing is like an ecosystem. Just like if you take one species out of an ecosystem, it screws up the entire ecosystem itself, the same thing happens with your marketing. You can’t isolate one variable, i.e. social media, and expect it to be able to produce all of the results that you want for your business. It’s unrealistic, and it limits you to what you can achieve.
Instead, think of social media as an outlet that will keep people within your circle by using it to drive them to your blog, to your email list, to your press features, and more. If you really want to make an impact, it’s vital that you keep people engaged and consistently deliver value-driven content to them through other outlets.
You know what they say… good things take time. If you know that you have an excellent content strategy and you’re doing everything right to reach the correct audience, be patient and the results will come.
Wondering how you can build a social media strategy you’re confident in? Request a consultation with us.